Consigned To The Grave

 I visited you today. I haven't been since it happened. Not alone, anyway. I think that maybe I was avoiding it and putting off, because really, what am I meant to say to a grave.

I can still remember it quite well - your funeral.

The day was warm, the last month of spring. I hadn't gone to school most of that year due to constant sickness, but somehow, a friend and I were some of the first ones to know about you. I remember I didn't want to go to your funeral alone, so I asked my mother to go with me. It felt too odd, and I felt to alienated to go there with people who had mostly forgotten I exist. But nobody would forget you exist. Not after that.

The church was almost right across the road from my old house, and in the single moment we stepped out of our door and down our front steps, I was all but overwhelmed by the amount of people there. The closer we got, the more people we could see. The church was full, both upstairs and down, so the people spilled put onto the grass surrounding it. The road was blocked off to cars, and there were more people standing on the hot pavement. There was not much speaking, just slight murmuring and comforting. There were lots of tears in the eyes of the crowd, some shed, some not. The boys, your age and mine, stood quietly in the back wearing sunglasses, hands either clasped together or in their pockets. The closer I got to them, the easier it was to see that it wasn't because of the sun radiating down on us, it was to hide the growing redness behind their eyes - their tears.

One of the first boys I saw, I recognized almost instantly, despite his calm exterior replaced with wet cheeks and a quivering lip.

When my friend and I found out, the night that it happened, we were sitting at the park alone. It was late - maybe eleven at night. The lights from the local pub offering only slight illumination for us. Her phone called, and she answered. I couldn't hear what was said, but when she hung up, she uttered a few words that eliminated any questions other that, 'why?'

We sat there for a while, silent. Maybe we were numb, not wanting to believe. I'm not sure how long after, but soon, a boy we both knew walked past. Maybe we needed to say it because we couldn't bare knowing it alone. Maybe we just wanted him to tell us that we were wrong. Either way, we told him what we'd heard. He laughed, told us, 'no way'. But you could see it in his eyes - hear it in his voice - that he was worried. He was scared that maybe what we said was true - that you were really gone. He left, and soon after so did we. My mother greeted me at the doors with open arms, but I still didn't cry. I didn't quiver or weep or fall apart. Not even for a second. As I sat there on my bed staring at the ceiling, I only wondered 'why did this happen.'

Of course my question was already answered in a ways of 'what happened', but not 'why'. I suppose the question wasn't meant to have an answer. Either way, as we stood there, surrounded my the sniffling and quivering figures of others, I knew it wasn't a bad dream. I knew it was real. A brutal reality. I could do nothing more than pat the shoulder of a teary eyed girl I knew you to be close too, but even so, I still didn't cry.

Maybe I was still numb. Maybe I still am - near three years after the fact. Either way. I didn't cry. I think, maybe I felt the needed to be strong, like I always have. Never show emotion. Never let others know how you feel. Any way you look at it, I didn't cry for you. I never cried, no more that the slight lump in my throat that I made hast to swallow. And I'm sorry.

As the service started, everything grew quiet, except the sound of your favorite song playing through the speakers. It wasn't just your favorite though, it was one of your mother's too, who laid in the casket next to you.

Maybe for a while I forgot that you weren't the only one to die. Call it cruel, but even though I couldn't cry, you were the only one I could think of, knowing nothing about your mother other than her relation. Until they passed around papers, I couldn't even remember her name.

I went to the place you both died, though, after I was told our school year had gone left flowers there. There was still broken glass on the asphalt, and I found myself wondering where your lifeless body laid when you were found.

It was hard. And sometimes I feel like a monster void of emotion, when I think about the way I stood there silent and still, with not a single tear in my eyes. But then again, if it didn't bother me, if I didn't care you were gone, then why would I get a sick knot in my stomach every time I think about it? Why would I remember every detail about that day? The day I found out? The day I watched them lower her casket and yours in the cold ground?

I suppose, if I didn't care, I wouldn't. But I do care. So I remember. I remember you. I remember so well, that sometimes I almost wish I could forget the days that followed your death.

But I suppose, if I did forget, I would be cruel.

But I miss you. I miss you a lot. Even though we weren't that close, I still knew you. I still spoke to you. I still lived in the same world as you. But I wish I never had to see the look on everyone's face, feel the feeling in my gut, or swallow the lump in my throat, when we said our goodbyes and consigned you to your grave.

And as I walked back to town, leaving the flowers I'd picked you and your mother on your graves, I swallow another lump in my throat, and remember you.

It's been almost three years. And in another three, I'll probably still remember every thing about the day we buried you.

But that's okay, because if I forgot, I don't think I'd be able to forgive myself.
Written by lives_and_lies (opal)
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